It's a gas, gas, gas!
We've been hearing/reading about how the price of gas is going down (though it's still high) for the past couple of weeks or so. Here in the Stalag, it was running in the neighborhood of $2.60 a gallon and has fallen to around $2.35 in recent days. Rejoice!
A couple of things worth noting: Adjusted for inflation, gas still costs less than it did in the "gas shortage" days of the Carter Presidency--the mid-late 1970's. Even though Reagan brought Carter's inflation more-or-less under control, we still get around 3% or so annual decrease in the value of the dollar. Far less than Carter's and Nixon's inflation, but it still adds up over the years. The other thing? Every time the price of gas goes up, it reaches a new (short term) high. Every time it backs off, it doesn't decline quite as far as it had been. Unless there's a very unusual change in the supply/demand situation, we won't be seeing gas retailing at less than $2.00 ever again.
President Bush has made some noises like maybe we'll do some more domestic drilling in Alaska and other places, but it's just rhetoric. George Bush has been saying many things, but little gets done. I could dredge up and remind all of you of the fact that Republicans are craven cowards who are well-trained by their Masters (the Democrats) to hang their spines in a special spine-check room in the foyer of the Capitol Building. In fact, I think I will.
What everyone's forgetting, and what was talked about quite a bit back in the periodic gas spikes in the 1980's, is the gas tax. During the Reagan Presidency, when many of us were talking about doing away with the gas tax a a part of the rhetoric directed toward shrinking the size of government. In spite of mixed messages from Washington, some of us actually thought that might happen. Hah!
It was during this time that there was one of these gas price spikes. I think the price went all the way up to about $1.25! The working poor were lamenting how they'd ever be able to afford gas to get to work.
Meanwhile, the fedral gas tax is 18.4 cents a gallon and the California state gas tax is about 37 cents a gallon. That's 55 cents a gallon folks.
Both libertarians and most conservatives began talking about reducing or eliminating the gas tax. It actually was talked about on the floor of the House and on the national news. Had Congress actually brought a bill to the floor, it might've been voted on. But, alas, the House was under the control of the Democrats, and they were all talking about increasing the gas tax to fund additional mass transit
Fast forward to 2005. Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House. Again, we've had a sudden increase in the price of gas.
Nobody's even mentioned the gas tax. Nobody!
They've killed Fredom! Those bastards!